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Good Housekeeping
Charlene J. Owen, Staff Writer
October 27, 2012

Beans and Nuts May Lower Heart Disease Risk in Diabetes Patients

Although legumes are usually thought to be fattening, they may actually help those with diabetes avoid heart problems. By Charlene J. Owen

If you’re suffering from type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), try upping your consumption of legumes such as beans, nuts, and lentils, as a study featured in ScienceDaily.com reveals that these may actually lower your risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD).

With his team of researchers, Dr. David J. A. Jenkins of the University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital in Canada conducted a trial with 121 participants with type 2 DM in order to test how increasing the amount of legumes in their diets can effect factors such as glycemic control, blood lipid levels, and blood pressure. The participants were randomized; some were asked to eat a low-glycemic legume diet (one cup of legumes a day), while some were given whole-wheat products for three months.  

Researchers monitored changes in hemoglobin values that were used to calculate the percentage risk of CHD. The results showed that legume consumption of at least a cup (190 grams) a day lowered blood pressure, which in turn lowered the risk of coronary heart disease.

Although legumes are great in lowering BP especially in patients with type 2 DM, it’s still important to eat them in moderation, as these are high in starch and carbohydrates and may even aggravate certain allergies. Remember that a well-balanced diet and a clean lifestyle still is the best way to keep diabetes at bay.

(Photo by cookbookman17 via Flickr Creative Commons)

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